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2004 BMW M3 - Giant Bananas

Andrew Wang shows off his multi-award winning, daily-driven E46 BMW M3.

Neill Bachand
Jul 19, 2011 SHARE
Eurp 1108 01+2004 bmw m3+cover Photo 15/15   |   2004 BMW M3 - Giant Bananas

If one of us were given the nickname “Giant Bananas” we’d probably walk with a little more swagger. However, LA-resident Andrew Wang received the honor after fitting giant, yellow Brembo multi-piston calipers at each corner of his ’04 BMW M3. As soon as his teammates from Euro car club Europrojektz saw the new additions, the nickname was born and it’s stuck with him ever since!

Eurp 1108 01+2004 bmw m3+cover Photo 15/15   |   Asuka Designs hood was ghost-painted to show carbon weave

The yellow paint is a powerful counterpoint to his Carbon black M3, and it’s repeated inside where the diamond-stitched suede interior adds real class. However, he’s not created a hideous black and yellow freak, adding restraint with plenty of carbon fiber highlights and graphite-colored 20" DPE wheels to create a head-turning E46 with attitude.

Dru’s last car didn’t possess the same presence. His ’95 Acura had wheels and exhaust but that wasn’t enough to save it from being totaled in an accident. Lucky for Andrew, the misfortune was turned around when it gave way to his dream of owning a BMW M3.

Apparently, he’d lusted after the E36 M3 throughout his college years, but it wasn’t until he graduated that he was able to score the sort of job that would allow him to purchase such a car. And with the new E46 arriving in dealerships, a ’04 BMW M3 Coupe with SMG soon took its place on his driveway.

Initially focusing on the chassis, Andy picked up a set of KW Variant 3 coilovers to achieve the desired stance. He then added an AC Schnitzer strut bar as well as Eibach anti-roll bars with Status Gruppe Tuning adjustable end-links.

Eurp 1108 02+2004 bmw m3+engine Photo 3/15   |   2004 BMW M3 - Giant Bananas

Later additions included aluminum Rogue Engineering rear shock mounts since tuners and racers had begun to discover the bodyshell’s achilles heel. And to finish out the suspension, Powerflex rear trailing arm bushings were added.

With Dru’s tuning fever in full effect, he pressed on with the aforementioned Brembo Gran Turismo big-brake kit. This comprised two-piece 355mm drilled rotors up front with the yellow six-piston calipers. In the rear, he fitted 345mm rotors with four-piston clampers.

The “Giant Bananas” required larger wheels, and the first set he tried were Volk CE28N wheels with a yellow rim stripe matched to yellow powdercoated lug nuts. Fortunately, Andrew soon realized that his five “Highlighters” securing wheels a yellow circle needed a second opinion.

He contacted his friends at DPE and they worked to find a suitable set of five-spoke wheels. They ended up with a combination of SP-C5 wheels on the front and SP-SC5 on the rear. Both are three-piece with hidden hardware and deep lips but the rears have deep concave spokes.

The DPE centers were powdercoated Diamond black and the barrels have a brushed aluminum finish. They were wrapped in Toyo T1R tires and secured by Macht Schnell 75mm studs with Neochro lug nuts.

Rasp

With a well-sorted chassis, the infamous 3.2L six-cylinder motor was next under the microscope. The modifications began with Discovery Automotive software and a GruppeM ram-air intake. The latter was included as much for its mechanical advantage as its drop-dead good looks. Its presence opened the floodgates to more carbon fiber parts including a Vorsteiner engine cover, as well as covers for the DME, Xenon ballast units and cabin filter.

Eurp 1108 03+2004 bmw m3+owner Photo 4/15   |   2004 BMW M3 - Giant Bananas

On the exhaust side, the owner fitted a Rogue Engineering rasp pipe to eradicate the Honda-like rasp at high RPM that US M3s suffered from. He then added Rogue’s X-pipe center section with an EVC valve, which is electronically controlled from the cockpit to allow the driver to adjust gas flow and exhaust volume by opening or closing the valve. Finally, the exhaust is finished by a Kreissieg F1 Valvetronic stainless steel muffler, which also has a volume control valve. “The EVC makes a small difference at the top of the rev range,” said Andrew, “but mainly it’s just to show off!”

The four tailpipes exit from a Vorsteiner V-CSL carbon fiber diffuser, which was just the beginning of Dru’s exterior infatuation with the composite material. Inevitably, it also crops up on the V-CSL single-sided trunk lid. This was painted so that the weave was on display around the license plate and the lip spoiler.

Eurp 1108 01+2004 bmw m3+cover Photo 15/15   |   2004 BMW M3 - Giant Bananas

He picked up Vorsteiner’s carbon front spoiler as well, directing M1 Autobody in El Monte, CA to fill the foglight openings in the stock bumper and shave the reflectors before attaching the spoiler.

Eurp 1108 07+2004 bmw m3+right side Photo 9/15   |   Vorsteiner carbon fiber trunk was painted but carbon was exposed in plate recess and spoiler lip

Looking to do something different, Dru had M1 apply a thin coat of paint over his carbon hood from Auska Design. After his experience with the trunk, they figured out a way to match the hood to the paint without hiding the carbon weave underneath. Andrew refers to it as “ghost paint” after a single coat was applied.

Looking for more ways to increase his carbon quotient, both the fender and kidney grilles were updated. He even went all the way to a Bimmian keyhole cover. In fact, Dru estimated he dropped $6000 in less than two months for all the carbon parts; but admitted, “It was getting ridiculous!”

Diamonds

As we already mentioned, the yellow flare on the wheels had been ditched but Dru decided to flaunt his bananas inside. So the center panels of the four seats, door cards and armrest were covered in black suede with yellow diamond-stitching by Bravo Auto Interiors.

Eurp 1108 08+2004 bmw m3+side view Photo 10/15   |   2004 BMW M3 - Giant Bananas

The company also stripped down the OE seats to trim the outer panels in leather and use yellow stitching around the seams.

The interior is inevitably accented by carbon fiber on the seat backs, as well as an M5 shift knob, Ultimate pedals, AC Schnitzer e-brake handle and Royal F1 shift paddles.

As a daily driver, Dru sought an upgraded stereo for his personal entertainment. So he had Sightwaves in Eagle Rock, CA install a double-DIN Alpine DVD head unit, which frequently hosts the Chappelle Show on road trips to Las Vegas.

In the suede-lined trunk are two Addison amps and their crossovers behind engraved plexiglass covers. Along the trunk wall is a Wicked CAS Magic Box sub enclosure housing a 10" Hertz sub. The set-up provides ample space for luggage and some beats to get the party started.

In fact, Dru and his friends have been involved in many parties and events. One of the biggest was a charity car meet organized by Andrew from Europrojektz and Jojo Cagungun from DPE Wheels. It was on behalf of the March of Dimes in 2010 and still to this day holds the record for the most money raised for the Orange County chapter of the March of Dimes organization.

Eurp 1108 09+2004 bmw m3+interior Photo 11/15   |   2004 BMW M3 - Giant Bananas

We applaud Andrew for being part of such a great event, and it’s proven that a daily driven M3 with giant bananas can lead you to great things.

Eurp 1108 01+2004 bmw m3+cover Photo 15/15   |   2004 BMW M3 - Giant Bananas

et Tech Spec

2004 BMW M3
Owner: Andrew “Dru” Wang
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: project manager
Engine: 3.2-liter 24v six-cyclinder with Discovery Automotive software, GruppeM ram-air intake, Rogue Engineering rasp pipe and X-pipe with EVC valve, Kreissieg F1 Valvetronic stainless steel muffler, Vorsteiner engine cover, carbon DME, Xenon ballast unit and cabin filter covers
Drivetrain: stock SMG transmission
Brakes: 355mm Brembo GT two-piece cross-drilled front rotors with six-piston yellow calipers and 345mm rear rotors with four-piston calipers
Suspension: KW Variant 3 coilovers, Eibach sway bar, Status Gruppe Tuning adjustable end-links, Rogue Engineering rear shock mounts, Powerflex rear trailing arm bushings, AC Schnitzer strut bar
Wheels & Tires: 20x9" front SP-C5, 20x10.5” rear SP-SC5 DPE wheels with Diamond black centers and shadow chrome brushed barrels, Macht Schnell 75mm competition stud conversion, Project Kics R40 Neochro lug nuts, 245/30 R20 front, 285/25 R20 rear Toyo Proxes T1R tires
Exterior: Asuka Design carbon hood, Vorsteiner front spoiler, carbon trunk lid and diffuser, deleted front foglight apertures, shaved front markers, carbon kidney and fender grilles, Bimmian keyhole cover, Xenon headlights, European Auto Source Aurora LED angel eyes, smoked Depo corner lenses and side markers
Interior: black leather and suede retrim with yellow stitching on seats, armrest and door cards, carbon fiber seat backs, illuminated M5 shift knob, Royal F1 shift paddles, AC Schnitzer e-brake handle, Ultimate pedals, Euro tray, satin silver double-DIN head unit bezel, SMG dome and lower steering wheel cover
Audio/Visual: Alpine IVA-W505 7" touchscreen DVD head unit, Hertz Mille MLK 165 two-way component speakers and 2500 10" sub in Wicked CAS Magic Box enclosure, Audison two-channel and bridged-mono amps, Hertz crossovers in black suede trunk display with LED lighting
Thanks: Europrojektz, Jojo, Manu, Aaron and Pat at DPE Wheels, Eric and Tam at Supreme Power Parts, Raymond, Jack and Maggie at M1 Autobody, Omar and Jesse at Sightwaves, Serge and John at Hyevon Motors, Brad and Han at Asuka Design, John at JS Design Factory, Luis at Bravo Auto Interiors, Promax, Toyo, Zivago, shadowless, darkcrash21, Jay1, sillieidiot, evilstar and SGC/NGC

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By Neill Bachand
72 Articles

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